MTV Caged: Youth Movement in MMA Should Have UFC Thinking Farm System

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2012

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:   Michael Bisping of Great Britain Jorge Rivera of the USA trade blows in their middleweight bout part of at UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

UFC is one of the biggest companies in the world and by far the biggest MMA business in the United States. With that said, the lack of a farm system keeps the sport from reaching new heights.

While there is still a steady stream of fighters coming into the sport of MMA, the real development of a sport happens when younger people fall in love with fighting and start dedicating themselves to training.

If UFC wants to capitalize on the MMA craze that is sweeping through much of the United States, they need to develop a minor-league system that can be used to find the next great fighters from small towns with no big financial backing.

Will Broyles, co-producer of Caged and owner of Ring Rulers,  told the Shreveport (LA) Times about what the show is supposed to be:

The world is going to get to see what really goes on with fighters and their real lives. It's about regular guys who put their pants on one leg at a time and who have to deal with family and friends as they ascend and rise to the next level or fail and don't make it.

Dana White and the UFC have the chance to use MTV’s Caged as a gauge of just how interested fans are in the backstory of the fighters.

While that’s going on, White should put together a group that travels the country to small arenas and fight halls to pick the young prospects they want fighting in their octagon in a few years.

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  (R-L) Jon Jones connects with a right punch on Jake O'Brein during their light heavyweight bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones defeated O'Brein by second round tapout.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

With a clearer barometer of where the young people are headed and how they’re going to get there, they will be able to focus more on training and keeping their life in order rather than whether or not they will be able to eat that day.

If I was in charge of the UFC, I would do my research and find out all of the Shreveport, La. kind of small towns that live on MMA. Those towns are where you find the next champion or the next fan favorite.

After finding younger fighters across the country, develop a school for MMA that also acts as a minor league fighting system that will allow the younger star to enter the UFC when the coaches feel he is ready.

That would ensure that the sport never stops growing and is a necessary step if UFC wants to continue their stranglehold on the sport of MMA.


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